Which sociable network is best for your business?
Almost 75% of small businesses use social media, but do they use it correctly? Here’s a rundown of the top 6 sites and how best to use them.
What it is: The world’s greatest sociable network, Facebook (FB) allows users to share content and conversations, create events and deploy targeted ads.
Best business uses: Generating and fostering human relationships with potential clients; advertising.
Who should use it: Everyone
How to maximize your reach: When posting to your Facebook page, include value to the user, said Joe DiNardo of Blue Fountain Press in New York City. Add a few brief business insights when linking to industry news or ask users for opinions when posting pictures. Posting real-world tales of how your business overcame difficulties can connect with users on a personal level, which makes it more likely they’ll become clients.
How not to use it: Don’t advertise directly on your page — that converts fans off. And while Facebook is a great place to address customer issues, don’t get involved in lengthy back-and-forths. ” Try to bring a complainer into your world by being more personal about it, but only respond once, ” said Don Sorensen, founder of Big Blue Robot, which helps firms improve their online reputation. “If the discussion turns negative, then it’s open to the rest of the room and can affect the whole party. ”
What it is: A site that lets users post messages — “tweets” — of 140 characters or less.
Best business uses: Promoting events, news and specials; building your customer base by fostering conversations where you can show your expertise.
Who should use it: Owners with a few hours per week to read, send and search messages.
How to maximize your reach: Use the hashtag symbol (#) or the advanced search option to find questions that relate to your business and provide answers, said DiNardo. Doing so helps increase engagement with your audience and ” plant[s] a seed for a relationship that can change into a person, ” he said. If visitors trust your experience, they’re much more likely to go to your website. And while Twitter is a great spot to announce special offers and deals, phrase marketing Tweets conversationally: Your fans don’t need to get slammed with advertisements.
How never to utilize it: Don’t blindly retweet or setup automated tweets. Carefully read articles before you retweet to be certain you’re more comfortable with the ideas your business will be conveying. Also, avoid the time kitchen sink factor: You can lose hours heading back and forth on Twitter.
What it is: The world’s most significant job application pool; an accepted spot to read career-oriented weblogs and news articles.
Best business uses: Hiring; network to attain potential clients.
Who should utilize it: Everyone, b2B companies looking for clients especially.
How exactly to maximize your reach: Establish human relationships with high-quality potential hires before you’re actually hiring, said DiNardo. Sign up for a few LinkedIn (LNKD) organizations that relate with your business or market. Once you have founded yourself in an organization, work to answer questions and foster discussions, which will increase your reputation as a specialist and help others become familiar with your company.
How never to utilize it: Don’t spend a lot of time pitching your products.
What it is: Google’s video-sharing site, which includes more than 1 billion unique visitors each full month.
Best business use: Building credibility by showcasing your knowledge and skills.
Who should utilize it: Everyone. Financial advisers, lawyers, and marketing experts can record themselves offering valuable tips; advertising companies can screen their creativity.
How exactly to maximize your reach: Make a summary of the 10 most regularly asked questions in your industry and film yourself answering them. Think about “the same kind of concerns that folks sit back to Google, ” said Liz Jostes, co-owner of Eli Rose SOCIAL NETWORKING. And because YouTube videos arrive in Google (GOOG) serp’s, be sure to improve the videos with as much keywords as you can.
How never to utilize it: Don’t post long videos — keep them under a minute and a half, said Jostes. Focus on one question or issue per video to keep your message on track. And don’t leave anything blank: “Add your company URL and links to all your other social media accounts to your YouTube Channel, ” said Jostes.
What it is: Photo app that allows you to apply artsy effects to your shots.
Best business use: Promoting your brand via stylized images to a largely twenty-something audience.
Who should use it: Hotels, restaurants, consumer products companies and other firms with lots of photos of properties and goods.
How to maximize your reach: The revenue generated by an Instagram follower is 10 times greater than that generated by a Twitter follower, according to data analytics firm, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck if you take take the time to post interesting shots of your products.
“Take pictures of what makes your business unique, whether it’s an office perk (like the organic fruit we receive from The Fruit Guys ), a conference you’re attending, or pictures of your team and/or products and customers, ”
Instagram doesn’t let you link pictures to your website, so connect your account to Facebook or Twitter so the photos are cross-posted there. We recommends using the hashtag to search for photos of your products and share those on your other sociable media pages.
How never to utilize it: Don’t allow your accounts go dormant. Upgrade it with new pictures at least almost every other week.